Tunisians weren’t who you might think. Based on a recent genetic studies report conducted by National Geographic, only 4% of Tunisians are actually of Arab origin.
Now scientists are delivering new answers to the question of who Tunisians really are and where they came from. Their findings suggest that the country has been a melting pot since ancient time. Tunisians living today, are a varying mix of people originally from North Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe.
This reference population is based on people native to Tunisia. Tunisia’s location in the Mediterranean region contributes to its broad genetic diversity. Mainly, North African. European and Arabian components are also present.
The Arabian component likely arrived in two waves, one with the arrival of agriculture from the Middle East beginning around 8,000 years ago, and one with the Islamic conquest of the seventh century. Tunisians also carry components from other regions of Africa, such as Western and Central Africa.
The Genographic project is a mutliyear research initiative of the National Geographic Society. The project was launched in 2005 by geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells, and it is currently led by anthropologist Dr. Miguel Vilar.
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Thank you for this article. It is important that Tunisians must start to accept the fact that we are not Arabs. It´s not a shame to have Amazigh DNA and maybe this generation and the next generations change some things in near the future without any racism in this beautiful country. Knowledge is power!
Tunisians have been Arabs for 1400 years. This article is ridiculous seeing how you cannot find an Arab component since being Arab is a socio-culturel ethnic identity. And most North Africans in and outside of North Africa identify as Arabs. Other than the mixed Arab Hijazi and Yemeni blood many North Africans have i their veins. To be Arab in North Africa is simply speaking Arabic and living in a Muslim Arab culture which they have been for a millenia and a half. Many Maghrebins are mixed Arab-Berber descent. But so what? The whole of the Middle East are mixed with prepopulations but they predominitaly identify as Arabs unless they indefity as minorities like Kurds or Assyrians. Just like full Amazigh are a minority, mixed Arab-Berbers are the majority and they identify their countries as Arab countries and themselves as the Arabs of the Maghreb. Knowledge is power indeed.
Amazigh’s have been in Tunisia for over 7000 thousand years and beyond , this is our land , if you don’t like it, maybe Irak is a place for you to live. There is Nothing called Arabs of the Maghreb. It is called Tamazgha, I bet you a 100% you don’t even know what (Tounes) means. Tounes in darija means “the key” in Tamazight langauge, even the countries name is not arab. knowledge is indeed power and you seem to need it. Good luck best of luck from Tunisia.
Hello both, @propagandachecker, i don’t claim to be a sociologist, although im writing a disseration in that area, so i could tell you that you’ve confused identity as a purely social-construct (something we made up such as the term “race”) with actual DNA and biology. therefore it’s very safe to say that most Tunisians are not Arabs, which is what this article and research brings about. Now when we talk about identity, Tunisians use the word “Arab” loosely with no actual weight to the word, meaning you could look at a subsaharan african Tunisian and call him Arab, that’s identity. Most Tunisians today as they are getting informed have started to shift their identity perceptive towards a more nationalistic identity such as Carthaginian, which in my opinion the most appropriate for Tunisians just as Italians refer to themselves as Roman descendants.
This is nothing new , we all new about this before the DNA analyses , but Tunisian government is controlled by racist Arabs unfortunately. Tunisian Amazigh’s will rise again InchAllah and we will bring back our mother tounge Tamazight !
This goes to the propagandachecker, knowledge is the least you possess my dear arab wannabe and you are an islamist, so afraid of letting go… my friends, Arabs were a minority, and still is… it is their propaganda book that distorted your brains… North Africa is for Africans only, and we threw your peoples out a long time ago… nothing arab at all in Africa… not even your language is Arab, creole arabic it is. It is about time the muslim propaganda och nds, and so it will with technology of genetics improving fast forward now.
Do you even know that proto semitic languages are African originally? Or that genetic urheimat of the Arabs are in north africa?
I told you, you are a backbiter that is so scared now for being separated from your so called holy lands which are no more holy than a snail in the sea
This must be based on Y dna which comes from males. There are studies on mitochondrial DNA and it shows a different picture. Tunisians on that line are about 25% sub-saharan African [ie-black African], which comes out to 16% or so when the male Y dna is factored in from Central and West Africa. The Arab slave trade is the cause of this, and overwhelmingly, they took females captive and castrated the males. So there is a large SSA component among them. European M Dna is likely a bit higher than the Southern European component shown here as well, as again, Arabs were doing raids on Southern Europe and prioritizing female captives and castration of men. The Southern EURO Dna shown here in the graph [likely from the male Y Dna] is from Roman and pre-Roman times, whereas the M Dna would be from the Arab raids on southern Europe.
As far as phenotype goes. The SSA admixture would explain why modern Tunisians look a bit different than the ones during Roman times did, who according to description from Roman scholars, looked hardly different from a southern Italian. This is not the case today.
@Mark Thank you for the valuable comment, I would love to read about the SSA component influencing Tunisians’ phenotype from pre-Arab conquest times until today. Which could actually be a great research paper idea for those sociology/historians out there. Unfortunately, Tunisian researchers barely work on anything substantial, neither in English nor in Arabic, hence the horrifying ignorance among the Tunisian public on such topics. and not if the people would read research papers to begin with, lmao.